Organists are always on a pilgrimage of one sort or another— or so states Iain Quinn, an accomplished organist, musicologist, and composer. Because he cannot take his instrument with him, Quinn finds every organ in a new city to be a fresh, engaging experience.
He’s traveled extensively to play music in the cathedrals and performance halls of Europe, Asia, Scandinavia, and North America.
Notable performances are as far reaching as Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Reykjavik. However, his favorite memories are in his native Britain at King’s College, Cambridge, and Westminster Abbey. Quinn names the Netherlands as an oasis for organists. A historic instrument resides in nearly every city, largely untouched by time.
“There’s always something to look forward to,” remarks Quinn. “Colleagues will say if a particular combination of sounds is asked for by a composer in a piece, there is a specific organ you need to go to get the sound in your ear; you’ll never forget it any more than you can ever forget a voice.”
Quinn began his journey in Cardiff, Wales, where at age 7 he was encouraged by his mother to join their cathedral’s choir. He was exhilarated by the thought of singing a 400year-old piece of music that was once voiced by another child any number of years ago. Professional performances inspired Quinn to take up the piano as he grew up in a heightened ecclesiastical setting.
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